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Did you know that throwing away food that could have been eaten could be costing your family £720 a year? For that, you could go ice skating at Riverside Leisure Centre 87 times!

Not only is wasted food costing us money, but it’s also damaging our environment.

In Chelmsford alone, approximately 350 tonnes of food is thrown away every week – that’s the equivalent of 32 Park and Ride buses.

Read on to find out how you save money and limit your impact on the environment through cutting your food waste.

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Join us for the Chelmsford Food Waste Challenge

It’s a common myth that food quickly and safely rots away in landfill. Any food that you put in your rubbish will sit in landfill for years, slowly releasing harmful methane gas and contributing to climate change. So what else can you do?

  • If you often end up with lots of fruit and vegetable scraps, why not try composting at home by ordering one of our subsidised compost bins? It’s a great way to reduce food waste and generate nutrient-rich soil improver for your garden.
  • Any food that you can’t eat or compost at home, make sure to pop in your food recycling caddy. This means that instead of going to landfill, your food waste will be recycled! This recycled food generates electricity and also creates a nutrient-rich soil that farmers can use for their fields to help grow more food.

Click here to order your food recycling caddy if you don’t have one already.

recyclable food waste
What happens to your food waste?

Top tips on how to reduce your food waste:

  • Try to plan a few meals in advance and only buy what you need.
  • Work out suitable portion sizes using this handy portion planner.
  • Check your cupboards, fridge and freezer and make a shopping list of food you need before heading to the supermarket.
  • Don’t be tempted by special offers, unless you know you will use what you buy or can freeze for a later date.
supermarket food
Buy what you will eat
  • Storing food correctly is a great way to extend its shelf life. Find out what goes where with this helpful A-Z of food storage.
  • By setting your fridge below 5 degrees Celsius products will last for longer. You can use this simple tool to find out how.
  • Put your freezer to good use – you’d be amazed at how many types of food can be frozen and defrosted at a later date. Did you know that you can actually toast bread straight from the freezer?
Store your food right
  • Check date labels and understand the difference between ‘Use by’ and ‘Best before’ – this means you can use food before it spoils. ‘Use by’ dates refer to the safety of the food, whereas ‘Best before’ dates refer to the quality of the food.
  • If you’ve got food that needs eating up, why not try out this amazing leftover food recipe finder?
  • If you’ve cooked too much food, pop the leftovers in the freezer for a quick meal at a later date. Don’t forget to label the container!
  • If meat is approaching its use by date, freeze it raw or cook it and store it in the fridge so it lasts for a few more days.
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Other tips to avoid food waste